Bubonic Plague in Nineteenth-century China

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Stanford University Press, 1996 - History - 256 pages
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This book, the first work in English on the history of disease in China, traces an epidemic of bubonic plague that began in Yunnan province in the late eighteenth century, spread throughout much of southern China in the nineteenth century, and eventually exploded on the world scene as a global pandemic at the end of the century.

The author finds the origins of the pandemic in Qing economic expansion, which brought new populations into contact with plague-bearing animals along China’s southwestern frontier. She shows how the geographic diffusion of the disease closely followed the growth of interregional trading networks, particularly the domestic trade in opium, during the nineteenth century. A discussion of foreign interventions during plague outbreaks along China’s southern coast links the history of plague to the political impact of imperialism on China, and to the ways in which European cultural representations of the Chinese influenced the theory and practice of colonial medicine.

  

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Contents

Introduction
1
MAPS
12
Origins of Plague in Southwestern China 17721898
17
Recorded Epidemics in Northeastern Yunnan 186398
46
The Interregional Spread of Plague 18601894
49
The West River system
51
Transport routes in western Guangdong ca 1850
58
Recorded Epidemics Along YunnanLingnan Trade Routes
61
Plague diffusion through the Fuzhou regionalcity trading
89
Comparison of epidemic curves of estimated plague deaths
96
NineteenthCentury Chinese Medical Religious
100
Welcoming the god to dispel the epidemic
119
Civic Activism Colonial Medicine and the 1894 Plague
131
Medical charity of the Renji shantang
133
Plague and the Origins of Chinese State Medicine in
150
Conclusion
165

Plague epidemics along the West River system 18801902
64
Recorded Epidemics Along the South China Coast
69
The Spatial Diffusion of Plague in the Southeast Coast
72
The Southeast Coast macroregion ca 1893
74
Annual precipitation and average temperatures in Fujian
82
Recorded Plague Epidemics in the Xiamen RegionalCity Trading
86
Patterns of Plague Morbidity and Mortality
175
Notes
191
Works Cited
213
A Names Terms and Titles
233
Index
245
Copyright

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About the author (1996)

Carol Benedict is Assistant Professor of History at Georgetown University.

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